HH Com 596

Her name is Sally Collins and she’s travelled all the way from Hoisington, Kansas, to make Archie Hopper an offer: a truck full of cheap booze, in exchange for scaring off some local yahoos. It's quick money for Archie - the locals scare easy, and getting the hidden stash from Kansas is simple.

It becomes complicated when Archie discovers that everyone who handles this load of hooch suffers a run of very bad luck: they end up dead.

That’s also unlucky for a small time bootlegger, because the trail of bodies is getting long enough to irritate even the New York cops.

And when Sally turns up again – packing a .38, with a carload of cheap toughs in tow – Archie realises that he’s in very deep trouble indeed.

Chasing from nightclub to nightclub, from hoodlums and dancing girls to Tammany Hall politicians on the make, Archie need to work out what's going on. If he can’t, there’s every chance that he’ll wind up behind bars – or worse, in his very own shallow grave…

Well, despite the very enticing presence of bathtub gin and floozies packing .38s, this isn't a hook. This is a rundown of the action.

Start over. 23 skidoo


BernardL said...

This is more of a hook than 'Search for Fordlandia' in 579. :)

puzzlehouse said...

I'm really surprised by Miss Snark's comments -- this one absolutely hooked me with premise, voice, and writing style. I'd buy it if I saw it on the shelf.

crankynick said...

I think it's probably fair comment, actually. As a hook, it's short of any really clear indication of who the antagonist is, or what they're doing.

'Tis OK. This is my second entry, and my first got asked for pages (389), so I ain't complaining.

(Actually, there's a bit of me that is whingeing like a demon - I like the opening pages for this hook much more than the other one. But the rest of me says that all that means is that I shoulda done a better job on the hook for it.)

Twill said...

In this hook, I got lost in not knowing the time and place. You start off talking about Kansas, then mention New York cops and later Tammany Hall.

Perhaps "getting the hidden stash from Kansas to his [place] in New York"? or some such?

uxlrurnj: what you say after drinking a quart of cursed moonshine.

Wonderwood said...

Author, I like your premise, it sounds like fun. I think you could make your hook stronger by choosing different ways to open your second and third paragraphs. "It becomes complicated" is vague and boring, the rest of the sentence is stronger. Same problem with "That's also unlucky". Punch it up and I believe you'll have a more compelling hook. Good luck with it!

Anonymous said...

When does this take place? Kansas City is not very close to New York, and was even further before the interstate system was built. Tammany Hall indicates a setting in the past. It would make more sense for her to find a hoodlum in St. Louis or somewhere closer to her if all she was looking for was a scare for the local yahoos. If there is a compelling reason for her need to go to NY, I want to hear it up front.